Herodians, #4

Antipater as “Rehoboam”

In 14 B.C. Herod decided to humble the sons of the first Mariamne by bringing his eldest son Antipater back to Jerusalem and establishing him as heir apparent. A distinguished bride was also found for him, a surviving daughter of Antigonus the last Hasmonean king. Antipater knew however that his station was still far from secure. It might have remained Herod’s desire to restore either Alexander or Aristobulus as successor after a seven-year exile. This would have been necessary for one of them to fulfill the typecasting of Rehoboam, successor of Solomon.

Over the next seven years Antipater was relentless in his attempts to permanently discredit his two Hasmonean half-brothers. The designated roles of Alexander and Aritobulous, that being Simeon and Levi, may have even been used to convince Herod that it was their fate to conceive a royal murder and be disgraced. Alexander and Aristobulus actually helped Antipater’s cause by continuing to show contempt for their mutual father. In 7 B.C. Alexander and Aritobulous were executed and Antipater was publicly declared crown prince and made heir in Herod’s written will. As a further triumph over his Hasmonean rivals, Antipater convinced Herod to give him the young daughter of deceased Aristobulus as wife.

Next, Antipater fulfilled his role as “Reuben” by having a son with one of Herod’s minor wives. In the Book of Genesis, Reuben son of Jacob had produced a son, Naphtali, through Billah the concubine of Jacob. For reasons that will become more evident later, the minor wife of Herod in question was the one known as Pallas, and whose son was named Phasael after Herod the Great’s fallen brother. The name Pallas was an epithet of Athena as daughter and consort of another Pallas, the god of wisdom. The famous Parthenon in Athens, Greece was a temple dedicated to Pallas Athena, and the name Parthenon itself derives from the Greek parthenos, “virgin.” This wife of Herod’s was then most probably a Greek (Seleucid) heiress.

Antipater, in order to better establish the role of Rehoboam for himself, then set out to father two sons in the guise of Gabriel. (Gabriel was the angelic title of Reuben/Geb as the sexually overactive “eldest son” of Jacob/Re.) These two sons were to assume the identities of Elijah and Elisha, both of which had been born before the death of Solomon (Amenhotep III). This meant Antipater would have to get busy, because Herod’s health was failing fast. Probably for the sake of expediency two different mothers were chosen, but conveniently they had the same Herodian name, Mariamne, as will be discussed below. Elijah and Elisha had been full brothers, but it was not a strict “prophetical” requirement. The archetypes of Elijah and Elisha among the gods, Osiris and Horus, respectively, did not have the same mother or father.

Herod-Phillip son of the second Mariamne had already been designated as the Herodian Issachar/Osiris. In the Egyptian New Kingdom, Issachar son of Jacob earned the birthright by virtue of siring a son by his own mother. Such an heir could not be produced in Herod’s day, but one could be produced on Phillip’s behalf by the crown prince Antipater. Also, following the earlier Egyptian New Kingdom history of Patriarch Jacob (Amenhotep II), Herod sought to create a substitute for Herod-Phillip, whose “fate” it was to be murdered in the role of Issachar/Osiris. The birth of the Herodian Elijah would be required to serve this purpose as well. This prince would then possess the combined roles of Ba’asha the heir of Issachar by Leah, Shechem son (and sacrificial substitute) of Hamor/Issachar, and finally Elijah son of Rehobaom. Each of these roles was tragic. Elijah had been beheaded by command of Naamah/Jezebel. Ba’asha was defeated in battle by Asa/Ahab and Baasha’s son Elah was assassinated by Zimri. Shechem was put to the sword by the sons of Jacob at the city of Shechem.

In royal history, kingly succession sometimes passed through an Osiris figure and sometimes it did not. In the time of Solomon, it had not. During that period, Rehoboam had been the “incarnation” of archetypal Moses. Elijah was “incarnation” of Eliezer (“God of Ezer/Issachar”) the eldest son of Moses. Elisha was “incarnation” of Gershom/Joshua the younger son of Moses. Elijah and Elisha both died without leaving a royal heir and so a new savior (Jeroboam II) was raised up from the collateral line of Reuben to “save Israel.” In the Egyptian New Kingdom, after the premature death of Benjamin son of Jacob (Aakheprure son of Amenhotep II), the role of Benjamin was given to Reuben (Neby/Webensenu). This precedent allowed Antipater as the Herodian Reuben to also be designated as Herodian Benjamin, and allowed all of his sons to claim the tribal status of Benjamin.

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